India Becomes Experimenting Ground for Tech Companies Such as Uber
Uber or Ola? Oyo Rooms or AirBnB? As new ideas and enterprises in what is dubbed “sharing economy” or “collaborative consumption” sweeps the world, India has become the great crucible of experimentation to see what works and what doesn’t.
Two back-to-back talks at TED 2016 by Uber co-founder Trevor Kalanick and AirBnB co-founder Joe Gebbia offered a fascinating glimpse into the predatory evolution of two of the most talked about disruptors in the world that have shaken up the transportation and hospitality industry.
Ride share app company Uber, growing at warp speed, has added UberPooling in several cities across the world even as it experiments with everything from food delivery (UberFresh) to courier service (UberRush) to water taxis (UberBoat).
“Our mission is how to turn every car into a shared car and reclaim our city spaces…how to replace our parking lots with parks,” Kalanick told the TED2016 audience here.
Across the lobby at the Vancouver Convention Center, Joe Gebbia was reflecting on AirBnB’s challenges in India, where local upstarts like Oyo rooms are muscling into its market with its knowledge of local ethos and terrain.
Asked if AirBnB also saw solutions to, and opportunities in, long-term housing, Gebbia reflected for awhile before saying the company would stick to its strength in short-term hospitality for now. “I don’t think anyone would like to share their home with strangers for long periods of time,” he said.